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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  October 30, 2019 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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10/30/19 10/30/19 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! > the resignation is the rest that should happen, facing the people's demands. this does not mean he is a hero. it means we are heroes. we achieved a victory and we are continuing. amy: lebanese prime minister saad al-hariri has resigned after two weeks of massive anti-government protests calling for him to step down brought more than a million people into the street. demonstrators promise to stay in the streets until all of their demands are met. we'll go to beirut for an
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-- for the l latest. meet chesa boudin. >> since i mother was sentenced to prison, my father mamay ner geget t. my eliest memories are walking through steel gates. when served as public dedefend, i i brght thos exexnses with me every day as i woworkedn bebeha of thth poorest and stst oveookeked sidentntf r city tensure tt people who could noafafford lawye still ha accs to eal juice. y: the priry race r dirict attney in san francisco n next ek.. then a new documentary looks back to the 1970's when constant fires in the bronx displaced almost a quarter million people and razed an entire community. the bronx was burning. but who was lighting the match? "decade of fire" tells the story. >> we grewew up with bueded out
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dey all over us. the south bronx is burning down around us and nobody seemed to know why. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in news from capitol hill, lt. col. alexander vindman, the top ukraine expert on the national security council, told congressional lawmakers that the white house transcript of a july 25 phone call between president trump and ukraine's president omitted key words and phrases. vindman was testifying as part of the ongoing impeachment hearings into whether president trump withheld military aid to ukraine to pressure ukrainian president volodymyr zelensky to investigate trump's political rival joe biden and his son, hunter, who served on the board of burisma holdings, a ukrainian
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energy company. vindman told lawmakers tuesday that the transcript of the call excluded an explicit mention of burisma holdings by the ukrainian president, as well as trump saying there were recordings of biden talking about ukraine corruption. vindman also testified his attempts to include these omissions in the transcript failed. today lawmakers will hear testimony from two ukraine experts who advised former u.s. special envoy to ukraine kurt volker. on thursday, democrats are slated to formalize plans for the public phase of the impeachment inquiry. boeing ceo dennis muhlenberg was grilled by senate lawmakers tuesday over boeing's defective 737 max airplane, which was grounded worldwide after two crashes in ethiopia and indonesia killeded 346 people. this is illinois democratic senator tammy duckworth. >> boeing has not told the whole
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truth to this committee into the families and the people looking at this. yes, the pilots did what they were supposed to do but five seconds later, especially if that sensor is still stuck, it overwrites what the pilot does and pushes the nose right back down again. the pilots best friend is time and altitude post and on takeoff, there is no altitude. and he has got no time. amy: during tuesday's hearing muhlenberg admitted boeing failed to provide pilots with additional key safety system information. while he spoke, family members stood up holding giant photos of their dead loved ones. mullen berg will testify to the house transportation and infrastructure committee today. the justice department is also conducting criminal investigation into boeing. in lebanon, thousands poured into the streets to celebrate
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tuesday after prime minister saad hariri announced his resignation amid two weeks of massssive anti-g-government prprotests. >> first o of a all, we want to congratulate the people because the party of the people one today and n not one p party ovee otheher, like in t the past. the people trounced over the political feudalism in the country. we will c continue in o our uprg and our r revolution t to overtw the many sharks that maintain a grasp over the countries joints. amy: that's protester abdullah hammoud. the demonstrators are continuing to call for the resignation of the rest of the ruling elite and the formation of a new government with independent experts. we'll go to beirut for more on the massive protests after headlines. anti-government protests are also continuing in iraq, where tens of thousands of people marched on baghdad's tahrir square tuesday night demanding the removal of the government . at least 225 people have been killed in the government's crackdown against the protests, which erupted earlier this month
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over corruption, mass unemployment, and the lack of basic public services. al jazeera reports iraqi prime minister adel abdul mahdi may soon be ousted, after his two main political backers, muqtada al-sadr and hadi al-amiri, agreed to work together to remove madhi from office in response to the growing protests. in haiti, anti-government protests have entered their seventh week as thousands of people again took to the streets of port-au-prince monday to demand the ouster of president jovenel moise. at least 20 people have been killed amid the ongoing protests, which have also shuttered schools for two million children across haiti. in northern syria, the russian brokered cease-fire between turkey and syrian kurdish fighters expired tuesday night, threatening to reignite fighting in the region. the turkish invasion began after president trump abruptly withdrew u.s. troops from parts of northern syria, clearing the way for the turkish offensive.
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the turkish president claimed today that syrian kurdish fighters had not fully withdrawn from the area nene the turkikish border, and said joint turkish russian patrols would resume border's on friday. the u.s. house of representatives overwhelmingly voted to approve a resolution recognizing the mass killings of armenians in turkey from 1915 to 1923 as a genocide. the 405-11 vote declares that it is now u.s. policy to commemorate the killing of 1.5 million armenians by the ottoman empire as genocide. the issue has long triggered tensions between turkey and the issue has long triggered tensions between turkey and armenia, which to this day do not have a diplomatic relationship. max blumenthal reports he was arrested at his home in washington, d.c., on october 25 by a team of police and what he describes as an attack on the press. blumenthal says he was arrested on a five-month-old arrest warrant for assaulting a venezuelan opposition member
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during protests at the venezuelan embassy in march. blumenthal denies the charges. he says he was held in jail for two days, shackled for five hours, and denied a phone call. in california, the national weather service in los angeles has issued a rare "extreme red flag warning" for southern california as climate change-fueled wildfires continue to ravage the state. this is the first time the weather service has used the term "extreme red flag warning winds up to 80-miles-an-hour ," as threaten to spread the uncontrolled getty fire. california governor gavin newsom declared a statewide emergency sunday as wildfires spread from los angeles and northern california, burning tens of thousands of acres and forcing the evacuation of over 180,000 people. and here in new york, about 200 protesters rallied at the headquarters of blackrock tuesday, calling on the investment giant to end its
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support for fossil fuels and companies driving deforestation. blackrock is one of the world's largest asset managers, with more than $6.8 trillion in assets worldwide. it''s also one of the biggesest investstors in coal and oil. this is reverend kevin vanhook of riverside church. >> we are here this morning because we believe the earth is not something we have inherited from our past, but rather something that we are borrowing from our future. we are here this morning because we believe that our children and their children and their children have a right to clean air. we are here because we believe that our children and their children and their children have a right to clean water. we are here because we believe that our children and their children and their children have a right to have a say planet to call home. we believe in freedom for this planet, and we cannot rest until it comes. amy: tuesday's protest was held
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on the 7th anniversary of superstorm sandy, which blasted new york, new jersey, and parts of new england with a record storm surge as high as 13 feet, killing 159 people and damaging more than 650,000 homes. a new study published today in the journal nature communications warns that up to 300 million homes around the world will be affected by coastal flooding within the next 30 years amid climate -fueled sea level rise. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. we begin today's show in lebanon, where prime minister saad al-hariri has resigned after two weeks of massive anti-government protests. al-hariri said he had hit a dead end in trying to resolve the crisisis and announceded his decision in a nationwide tetelevised address.
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>> for 13 days, the lebanese people have waited for a decision for political solution that would stop the deterioration. i have tried during this period to find a way out, to listen to the people's voice, and to protect the point -- country from economic, securitity, and social dangersrs. today i will not hide it from you. i have reached a dead-end. it is time for us to have to face the crisis. i'm going to present the resignation of the government to the president and the lebanese people in all the regions in response to the will of any lebanese who took to the streets to demand change. juan: protests across lebanon have brought more than a million people into the streets. they started eararlier this momh when the government announced a tax on whatsapp calls.
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ththe demonstratations quickly w into a call for revolution, with demands for the resignation of alall top government officials, early parliamentary elections, and the creation of a transitional cabinet comprised of independent experts to guide the country through its economic crisis and secure basic services like electricity and water. amy: on tuesday, many protesters welcomed the prime minister's departure but promised to stay in the streets until all of their demands are met. >> we will pursue our movement. that means are not clear yet, but we are continuing until all of our domains are met because this resignation is just one demand out of many others we want. amy: lebanon has been on lock-down since the protests began. banks and schools have been closed for nearly two weeks. hariri's resignation tuesday came hours after chaos broke out in downtown beirut when a mob of hundreds of men stormed into the capital's main protest encampment, tearing up tents and setting some of them on fire. for more, we go to beirut where
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we're joined by lara bitar, an independent journalist who is co-founder of the independent media workers collective al-murasila. welcome to democracy now! i know there is a bed of a satellite delay. can you explain to us the significance of the resignation of the prime minister demanded by the protests and what more the protesters are demanding? >> good morning. as you indicated in your repepo, the pepeople on the street havee been demonststting sinince octor 17. they h have declareded a general strike that t lasted about nine daysys. schools and banks have been shut down f for 11 d days. yesterday after the announcement of the resignation, people work celebrating and congratulating each other, while at the same time acknowledging the struggle is very long. the general public is uneasy with the situation right now because there is uncertainty in
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terms of the political and economic front. we are going through a severe economic crisis at the moment. political parties such as the president's party, the patriotic movement and their supporters, viewed this resignation as cowardly, as hariri hariri prime minister relinquishihing his duties t to the nation. but we just got wordrd earlier e current lebanese president assigned thehe prime minister hahariri to o stay on as caretar prime minister. juan: what happens now? will the president call new elections or will there be an attempt to form a parliamentary majority government without elections? this is what civil society organizations on the street are calling for. they are calling for primarily the formation of a new, completely independent government that is not
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represented by any of the political parties that are currently in power -- specifically, not the powers that participated in the 15-year-old lebanese civil war. they are asking also for that independent government to have the ability to legislate laws, including one to guarantee the independence of the judiciary and another to reform the electoral law and hold early elelections to form m a new independent govevernment. can you explain who the political elite is? the demand of the protesters that it is not enough or just hariri to step down, they want the ouster of the entire political elite. you just that he has been asked to stay on as a caretaker. does that mean he is not leaving? it seems like for the short-term, at least, he is going to be staying in power. just got news of this right now,
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so i'm not sure what the reaction on the street is. but i assume people are not happy with this decision. i could not hear the beginning of your question. and in terms of the ruling elite, these are different political parties, as they say, as demonstrators have been saying, these are people who in essence at the end of the civil war and early 1990's took off their military uniforms and replace them w with suits and ts and have b been rolling this country since. wheneneople talklk about the complete overhaul and the complete and radical change of the political system, they're talking about these people. they're talking about the neoliberal economic policies that were implemented at the end of the civil war that people are really suffering because of these policies. they want to change the entire system. they want every single political party or officials who have been complicit in the crimes that were committed during the war and postwar to be held accountable. amy: a and can you explain -- >> and this is why it is incredibly --
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explain --u >> that is why it is important to have -- amy: i am sorry, there's a bit of a delay so it causes confusion. can you explain the attack on the encampment by the men wearing black and the significance of this, what this protest encampment is? let me just very briefly talk about, provide some context for your viewers. since october 17, demonstrations have been nationwide from tripoli in the north to the south. demonstrations that took place in 2015 in the aftermath of the garbage crisis, demonstrations in 2011 against the sectarian system, evenen demonstrations ad 2005 that led to the end of the syrian occupation -- the occupation centralized in beirut. this mobilization is across the country. there has been almost 400,000 villages who have participated in some form of collective action. while the attacks happened
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yesterday generated a lot of media attention, there has been sporadic attacks all over the country by the state and its agencies, security, the lebanese army and intelligence, internal security forces. and affiliates or allies of this date who are keen on maintaining the correct structure in place. juan: i am wondering if you could talk a little bit about the growing wealth inequality that is at the root of many of these demonstrations and protests in lebanon. ofer all, hariri is one lebanon's richest people, worth about $2 billion. it has been a tough week for worlrld leaderers who are billionaires. in chile, another billionaire is having massive protests in the streets as well against wealth inequality. how has this widening gap affected lebanon? about 1% of the people in
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rd of theontrol or hoa wealth. since the bebeginning of t this year, ththere is also o been demonstrations because of recently passed auststity measasures. there has b been cuts to the ony privateniversity -- only public uversity lanon, e lebane university. there ha been cuts to the environment ministry that is crucial to maintain as we continue to face environmental crisis. there has been additional taxes that primarily impact the working class and the poor. and also because lebanon has one gdp ratiohest debt to at almost 150%, making lebanon the third most indebted country in the world, so this debt is a must $89 billion and continuing to grow, servicing of this debt primarily benefits the wealthy
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at the expense of their very poor. there is a lot of anger on the streets. these demonstrations have somewhat been n ferred to o by e international press is a whatsapp revolution. that is far from the tree. whatsapp was a very small trigger to what is happening here. there were plans to not only add ,he tax of about $.20 per day amounting to a maximum of six forars per month, and also contacts whatsapp is used by all most everybody in the country, especially because the communication costs are so expensive. so what we see is a gradual increase in taxes that do not really serve the people who are being taxed and tax evasion by the most wealthy and the banking sector. juan: you mention more than $80 billion in debt. who holds that debt. what countries are benefiting specifically or what financial groups from that lebanese debt
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crisis? >> it is not really the international community benefiting. it is a local banking sector that benefit from the servicing of this public debt. of course, some international -- the members of the international , but for the most part, and as a local banking sector benefiting. the local banking sector is tightly affiliated or close to ththe politicall class. so they are in essence serving each other. amy: can you talk about -- you described this as an anticapitalist mobilization. can you also talk about how th is dates back to them what were the trash protests of 2015 that this has been building?? sorry, could you repeat the last part? amy: you described this as an
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anticapitalist mobilization. can you talk about how this dates back to the trash protests of 2015? >> i still have difficulties hearing that question. i will briefly talk about the 2015 demonstrations that were ignited after a crisis that continues to be unresolved. again, the primary difference between what is happening now and what happened then, even though in 2015 there was a lot of anticapitalist sentiment expressed, we see it much more vividly today. one of the main protest sites is at the central bank. people have been there for almost two weeks. they are calling for not only the downfall of the current political class, they're also calling for the downfall of the governor of the central bank. they are also calling for the downfall of the rule of the bank in lebanon.
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wanted to go to the hezbollah leader -- i want to nose rolla, toto talk about his response to the protest, urging followers not to join the mass protests. i want to appeal to the people. i want to appeal to the protesters and appeal to those who are blocking roads with alal due respect, lovove, to open the roads for the p people to go to their work in schools and hospitals.. i am scared for the country. we are scared for the countrtry. we are scared there might be someone who wants to take lebanon and create social security, and political tensions that wouldld lead to war. any solution -- you people and political powers and everyone related -- you should base y yor actions on not falling into a government vacuum come a vacuum
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in the government instititution, a vacuum in the authoritieses. why? because this is really dangerous. amy: that is t the hezbollah leader nasrallah. the significance of hezbollah around these protests? >> on one hand, the secretary-general of hezbollah goes on tv and tells his not participate in these demonstrations, while at the same time saying there are legitimate concerns and legitimate demands by people on the street. supporters, however, sometimes do hear his call not to act in any kind of violent manner, but then there is this claim the secretary-general cannot always be in control of his supporters and already members. but the attack we saw yesterday and it turned out it was by ofmarily -- maybe a handful
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hezbollah's supporters. we are not really sure. we can't really know who is really sending these young men to attack these demonstrations. but what is very clear, at least from my perspective, hezbollah, being part of this government, even if not as corrupt as other political groups, is at least complicit in the corruption that this government has been a part of for decades. amy: early in the protest, and video went viral of protesters singing g the children's song "baby shark" to soothe a toddler in a car. do doaby shark do do dommy shark do do do mommy shark do do do ♪ amy: the protesters have also been chanting "baby shark." , thank you for being
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with us, independent journalist based in beirut. co-founder of independent media workers collective al-murasila. when we come back, we speak to a candidate for district attorney in san francisco, chesa boudin. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. candidateurn now to a looking to other been san francisco's approach to criminal justice. chesa boudin is running for san francisco district attorney and his resume is highly unusual. he is the child of weather underground activists kathy boudin and david gilbert, who were imprisoned when boudin was still a toddler. gilbert remains in prison. boudin was raised by former weather underground members bill ayers and bernardine dohrn. chesa boudin has been endorsed
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by bernie sanders and is running on a platform of ending cash bail and dismantling thearar on drdrug this is his campai a ad. >> we live in a city but t on a sisimple ideal. it isalled equal justice for all. and foro many of us, this ideaisis bei betrayed. have beme a city of prosrity, bualalso oabjeject poverty. we have beco a city of aspirationbubut al of exclusion aninin equy. oumostst vnerablbl residents do nonot recei the menl health care a shelter ty need. we fill our jailwiwith african-american san fncncisco ans o make up only 5% o th ci's pulalati. we l thehem go fr o on ba eveven ifhey are ngerous t the or remaibehindars, eveif th are innent. i know what it is like to be impacted by the crimalal jusce
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syem g go. infant, my mother was ntenenceto dececes in prison. my fatr r may ver r geout. earliest memories a w walki through steel gate to visit them. when i sveve as public defender, i brght t the expepeences wi me to the courthou every day as w workeon b behf of t t poorest and most overlook resintnts ofur city to ensure atat peoe whwho uld nonoafford a lawyer still had cecess t equal justice. i am part of a growing moventnt at i is bringing a new vision to the distctct attney'y's offifi. a vision to make the crininal justice stemem wk forr all of us, nojujust t ricich d powerful. justice domains an indenendent voice, someone willing to directly challenge a broken system. juan: chesa boudin is newest addition to a growing number of havec defenders who allergies a local prosecutor c2 and tough on crime tactics and restore civil rights. over the summer, tiffany caban came within 55 votes of winning
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a tightly-contested queens district attorney seat against the democratic machine's favored candidate. the 31 year-old queer latina public defender was supported by progressive district attorneys larry krasner of philadelphia and rachael rollins of boston, all part of a new "decarceral" prosecutor movement. amy: well, for more, we go now to san francisco, california, where we're joined by chesa boboudin. the election is just a week away. there hahave been unusual developments in one of your main opponents has just been appointed the da of san francisco. if you could explain what just happened for our national audience, and also with your and usual history, why you want to becomeme district attorney of fn francisco.o. >> thank you, amy, it is great to be back on the show. thank you, juan, always good to be here. we're just under a week away from the e election novevember .
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currentober 18, the elected district attorney stepped d down in order to purse the los angeleles district attorney position. it was a highly unusual development, particularly because this was the first open district attorney race in san francisco history in over a century. quite literally the first time without incumbent on the ballot since 1909. when george gascocon announced s early departure on october 18, the mayor immediately announced she would be swearing in one of my competitors, suzy loftus, as the interim da for the 18 days until the election. it was a move widely criticized, the nonpartisan aclu called it an interference with the democratic process. any other observers jumped into the race to denounce this move as an effort by the mayor to tilt the scales of the electctin
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and influence the outcome. of course, we have seen what everyone expected, which is the interim da has used her position quite literally every day to do a press cononference or some campaign related activity to draw attention to her otherwise uninspiring campaign platform. amy: and why you are running, chesa boudin? >> i am writing because i have seen firsthand personally my whole life how broken our criminal justice system is. my earliest memories are going through steel gates and metal detectors just to see my parents. just to give them a hug. i learned three years and now decades in prison visit that our justice system is not doing nearly enough for victims of crime, not rehabilitating people who have been convicted of ofmes, and it is a system mass incarceration that is costing taxpayers billions of dollars in making us less safef. i saw that, limited, experienced it my whole life.
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i decided to become a public defender to make sure people had access to equal justice no matttter how much money they had inin the bank.k. day and and day out, practicing as a public defender in san francisco, saw the same kinds of systemic injusustices that i experienced firsthand as a family member of incarcerated parents. i day in and day out. juan: i was going to ask you, can you talk about some of the main planks of what you are hoping to accomplish as da, especially in terms of sexual assault, immigration, mental health treatment and also the racial d disparitities within te criminal justice system? >> thank you for bringing those issues up. they are key platforms in my campaign. let's start with sexual assault. i am committed to testing every single rape kit, new or old, i n san francisco. i think of someone survives a sexual assauault, has the courae toto submit their r body to a collection process, it is incumbent upon n w enforcemement
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to a at least test the evidence. my main o opponent was a defendt and a high-profile lawsuit because she refused to test rape kits when she was the preresidet of the police commisission. mental illness is another critical issue in san francisco. 75% of people arrested and taken to county jail in this city are drug addicted, mentally ill, or both. we are currently using the county jail as the number one provider of f mental healthh servicices in the city. it is not working. it is not humane. it is not therapeutic. i want to treat mental ilillness before crimes are committed instead of waiting for people to be t taken to jail. disparities. san francisco incarcerates african-americans at a rate that is higher than any other m major city in the country. it is a disgrace. it is unjust. we have got to systemamatically attack i it. it is nott enough in a cityty le san francisco to simply say we are being race-neutral.
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as one of the leaders, i'i'm prd to have as an endorsement in this race, angela davis, likes to say, we must be antiracist. and those are the policies i have developed come antiracist policies to systematically root out racism at every step of the criminal justice system.m. it is a detailed program that will take an unflinching look at the ways in which raracial bias manifests, and attack it everywhere we see it, including bias training and refusal to use evidence gathered by police officers with a history of racial prorofiling, excessive ee of force, or of dishonesty on the witness stand. the other thing critical to my platform is puttining v victims first. we know all too often in our criminal justice system, crime victims s are used as pipieces f evidence rather than given a meananingful voice in the proce. i'm the only candidate in this race committed to requiring my staff to contact every victim of
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every crime within n 48 hoursrso give them a voicice. i have developed the broadest, most ambitious restorative justice program of any asisdiction in the country. san francisco's next district attorney, i will give every victim of every crime the right to participate in restorative justice if they choose to. juan: you mentioned earlier on in one of your earliest memories was visiting your mother and father in prison. as you probably know, i was a classmate of your father's. we were both together at columbia university and sds at the time. i've always had your father was without a doubt the most brilliant student at columbia, at least at the time i was there. i am wondering, given their howory, their imprisonment, they are looking at your campaign and how that has affectcted how the voters are looking at you in san francisco? >> i think all of my parents --
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despite the mistakekes they made and the consnsequenceses they he , theyor those mistakes are supportive and proud of me. i think they are excited about this campaign. they certaininly are worried thr mistakes and their history, things they did before i was even born, would be used to attack me in this race. i think that was a concern they had. i think they are also worried that this criminal justice oppressiveave is so and so punitive that it would be a very difficult chahallenge to reform it into a system that actually u uplifts p people, tht heals the harm that crcrime causes, that prevevents crime instead ofof simply focusing onn punishment. so they share those concerns with me. i think probably the hardest of those conversations was with my father, your former classmate. i visited him in his present last fall when i was considering throwing my hat in the race. we talked abouout it in his prin
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visiting r room. he made the poioint pretty systm include when he said his cell block was already full and he did not need more people being sent to prison. he knows as i do that we live in a society where prisons today fromot obsolete to quote angela davavis's s book. we do have a need to prprotect societety from people whwho are violent, and that is a role that jails and prisons are properly played today but it is a a role that is over and a abused. we need to find ways to safely allow people to return to the community, to have effective mechanisms for reentry. i think my parents concern was primarily that this is going to be a serious fight and that people were going to attack me for things i had not done.e. of course, their concerns proved to be accucurate. the deputy shsheriffs associaian in san f francisco has been over $100,000, much of it and attacking me in this race, using
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my parents historyry and the red scare tactics and a video put out by the john burke society to attack me. in the lasast week alone, the police officers association here in san franciscoco has spent ovr $20000,000 in atckck ads and mailers and tv commercials, making up lies, spreading misinformation, and using the kind of racist fear mongering that has unfortunately been a hallmark of the tough on crime era of the 1990's and early 2000's. amy: i want to go to the issue of the san francisco deputy sheriffs association, similarly opposing your candidacy as you said, reposting this video from the john birch society titled "terrorist son as sf district attorney?" how do you work with these groups want to become district attorney? talk about this wave of new tips
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to -- this new wave of district attorneys across the country and the significance of you getting bernie sanders endorsementnt? >> i am proud to have been endorsed by kamaishi sikkim and ways of -- a wave of progressive a vision of making our commmmunity safer by reducining raracial disparitieses. by decarceral ration. and by holding law enforcemenent accoununtable. people like larrrry krasner --'m actually jenna campaign event with them tonight here in san francisco. tiffany caban who has been out here to campaigngn with me on te trail. and r rachael rolollins and kimx who both endorsed me in this race. in addition toto those folks in bernie sanders, who tremendously honored to have the susupport o, one of the things that all of those e folks recognize, asas yu are rarank-and-file laww enforcement -- and this goes back to the first part of your question, amy -- is that we are
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safer would we enforce the law equally. and all too often in todayay's criminal justice system, the quality of justice that people received depends not on guilt or innocence, but on the color o of their skin, how m much money thy have in the bank account, or whether ththey wear a ununiformo work. what i've learned and heard over and over from rank-a-and-filee shsheriffs deputies, from rank-a-and-file police officers come is that they are anxious to be libiberated from the tyrannyf the minority of officecers who abuse their power, who abuse their uniform and batch. imagining an officer on the d and havingng a p partner who violates the law, who plplans evidence, who richly profiles, who uses excessive force and lies in police reports and testimony before the court. if you are the honest officer dishonestongngside the and report the misconduct you witness, absolutely nothing will happen to the offfficer who has
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done the misconduct. and you, for hahaving integrity anand decency, will l be retalid againsnst and your career will e over. i believe the majority o of officers h have t taken their js because e they w want to serve d protect theirir communities. and their abilitit to do so is undermined and their safety is put at risk by the tierney off the minority. i am excitited to work with the majority of officers who have integrity, who served with bright, who actually want to servrve and protetect theirir communities. but to do so we need to make sure we are enforcingnghe law equally. and the candidate in n this race who is made thehe clearest, most consistent commitment to d do that. it is exactly why the most extreme white ring elements that run the police -- right-wing elements that run the police units have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars attacking me. amy: the terrible crisis of homelessness. posted one an article your campaign website, you got
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to prosecute landlords who break laws to explain -- to exploit tenants. can you talk about what this means and how you would deal with the increasing criminalization of unhoused people in the city? san francisco has become the poster child in this country off homelessness. >> amy, we have a real crisis of homelessneness in n san francis. you see it everywhere you go. it is one of the issues that comes up with the most frequency on thehe campaign trail. peopople are asking the district attorney candidates, what are you going to do about the homelessness crisis? of course, one of the first points we need to make always is that being homeless is not t a crime. being poor is not a crime. and yet approximately 40% of our county jail is made up of people who were unhoused at the time of their arrest. i am committed to using datata o informrm my polilicies come to k at what the numbers show us and make policies based on data.
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let's take housing as an example. 70% of f the people who are currently unhoused in san francisco were previously living in housing in san francisco. if we are committed to finding ways to reduce and address the housing crisis, we need to start byby ensuring that people who ae currently housed don't lose their housing through fraud, deceit, or illegal tactics by corporate landlords. it turns out a huge percentage of the people who have been owner who benefited in san francisco haveve been done so using fraud, deceit, or threat. being a progressive prosecutor is not just about decarceral ration, , reducing racial disparities,s, and so on. it is a also about making suree we're using the tremendous power and discretion of the district attorney's officece to enforce e laws equally. that means prosecuting corporate landlords when they commit fraud, prosecuting police when they commit m murder or perjuju,
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prosecuting corporations when they dump toxic waste into our communities asas they did in the shipyards, and it memeans havina broader vision of using the didistrict attorney's office to actually keep our communities safe -- not simply wage a racist war on drugs. amy: chesa boudin, thank you for being with us san francisco deputy public defender and candidate for san francisco district attorney. the primary is next week. when we come back, speaking of homelessness, speaking of losing homes, "decade of fire." the new documentary tells the story of the terrible fires that ravaged the bronx in the 1970's and the community that fought to save their neighborhood. stayitith us ♪ [ [sic break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: "decade of fire." that's the name of a new documentary that takes us back to the 1970's, when the bronx faced a near-constant barrage of fires that displaced almost a quarter million people and razed an entire community. the bronx was burning. but who was lighting the match? "decade of fire" tells this story. here's the films trailer. cook'wewe greup i in rubble. we grew up with burned-outecay all over u the south bronx wabuburnindownwn ound u uand nonody seemed to ow why.
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cook everythin south of the exprswsway, just let it burn. nobody gave damn. >> all of the sun, neighbhohoods were gone. >> whahave t citity dump right here in the backyard. >> how cou city government allow this to happen? who wain charge? why? the story we were told, the sty y the ole e wod wassoldd was the fires were someh o our faul but we did not burn t bronx. weerehe ones who saved it. i said, waia a minu. i ve t to ke my y ve right now. >> we're trying tohohowing example to the resofof the pepeop in thth neighborhooththat if youust try, you can make a
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lolot beer n neiborhoooo >> if no one else wants to fight,e will fht. i sure i can get all of the womein the bronx to go out ththere dight. comee federal government innd wave onone ando this. cooks we are trying to get moyy om t theity toto renovate a ililding twor t thr yrs thereight t be a kly street. >> ts story is nojust about the bronx. thee are places like this in every jojor ci in n amica. places that eryone h given up on, eept for . came from the so-calle terrlelelace, but we would never leave it behind. amy: "decade of fire" airs next weekek on pbs. for more, we're joined by two guests. vivian vazquez irizarry is co-director and co-producer of the film, born and raised in the
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bronx. and gretchen hildebran is codirector and coproducer of "decade of fire" as well. vivian, the poignant story of your family and then what happened in the bronx. tell us that story. >> i grew up in the south bronx turn the 1970's. we had a great community. we thought it was normal. we thought it was natural. " meaning the"it fires, living in the destruction, that is how we grew up. as i got older, i began to realize that something was really wrong and i began to work with young people and decided, let's teach history to young people about the bronx. i realized, wait a minute, something was wrong. we were always told that it was our fault for the destruction of the bronx. that is the narrative we have always been given, that was the people of the south bronx that burned it. amy: 80% of the bronx burned down?
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>> 80% of our housing stock was destroyed. we also experienced 40 fires on average a day and night. you talk to people who grew up back then and they will tell you they still remember the smell and remember what they needed to do in case there would be a fire , putting shoes out near the front door, m maybe sleeping wih your shoes on, maybe making sure that peoplple in the neighborhod were always aware that any minute now there would be a fire. juan: and of course many of those were arson fire's. to lananords themsmselves set collect insurance money because they were not getting enough income from the rent. you also focus on the reduction of fire services to the community by the city government at the time of new york's financial crisis. could you talk about that? >> we talked about the fires, but we also revealed what led to those fires.
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it wasn't that all of the sudden the bronx began to burn. we revealed that we experienced redlining, which really starved the community of resources to support buildings that were already -- you know, they were in bad shape. we talked about urban renewal, which crowded over 150,000 people into the south bronx. we talked about the cuts of services, including firehouses -- all of those factors led to the fires. we characterize the fires as the vulture affect that occurred with policies that were made -- humanly made -- to the community in the 1950's. juan: when he talked about the 150,000 people poured d in the e south bronx, they would be displaced from manhattan as men hat was being g gentrified by moses and being pushed into the
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south bronx. >> correct. these people who were already poor became displaced into neighborhoods that creatated evn greater poverty affect for the community. amy: let's go back to the documentary "decade of fire." cooks suisse to llll her landlord, we can't li anynywhe el. my childn were all born here d we wertrying tget our livesogether and make someing g beer fororhem. cos the see that i get in guiltnternalized sensef and ofhame forot being able d d not rkrking rdnough or not having whait takes to elevateneself out of that circumstancetop >e di't blamouoursels because that
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whate internized. cacause a are ling in it. why e e we dng t thito ouelves?s? it was complicated. anit is awl becausi think in many ways, we still blame ourselves. amy: and ather clip from the documentary "decade of fire." were settinges ros s down her but our neighborhoods were being target b by gornmement policies based on race. it staed withedlining >> redlini. it firsttarts in the 19's. any nehborhoodhahat has 5%, 10black or puerto rican population is seen as a decling g neigorhood. ththe derall housing agencies, banks, insuran companies, they
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start tangng mapand litellyy drawininlines arnd them based on which neiboborhoo are a goodisisk anwhicich es arere bad. redlinehborhood had a anrurun arnd it, don' give out hoowners iururance alone. amy juan: gretchen hildebran, how did you get involved in this film? >> thank you for having us. vivian and another coproducer of ours julia came to me shortly after i had moved to new york, so i am not a new yorker. i was really stunned to hear, to start hearing this story of what happened in the bronx. i also felt fortunate to be able to meet vivian and begin to start working with her and her community, just around talking about what life was like back in the 1970's.
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positives and negatives. as we got further into it, i think one of our main goals was to try and break open policies like redlining and make them really accessible to people. we really see a direct connection between those policies that were going on since the 1930's and the cities we live in today, and really wanting to give the policy, opened it up to people as a tool as a way to understand why we have such a crisis of displacement and judge for acacia and in cities today. streetivian, charlotte in the s south bronx became e te symbol of ururban decay in the 1970's and 1980's. jimmy carter went there, ronald reagan went there. they were talking about rebuilding these areas. but people stayed, like you. the renaissance of the bronx right now is due to those people who stayed behind. that the film, you see
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real creative resistance of people that stayed and fought and sacrificed their lives, everything they had, to save their buildings, their block, their neighborhood. you have people like ramon from the people's development corporation who automatically saw that we had the r resource f human beings and empty buildings. let's bring those two totogether and figugure out how we cacan rebuild the housing. you have the pots family and robert foster and hope foster who together with folks from banana kelly decided they were going to rebuild an entire block. fox who women like ms. came to california -- came from california after visiting her father and decided she was goiog to stay and prevent her blockck from burning. hers was one of the only blocks in the south bronx i did not burn. amy: how are these residents being protected today?
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>> [laughter] today we are not expressing the massive destructive force of fire physically, but the conditions of displacement and the threat of displacement in the south bronx is grave. we are now very afraid of displacement because of gentrification. it is those same neighborhoods and it is not just in the south bronx, but if you look at all of those neighborhoods across the country that were redlined and were starved of resources back in the 1960's and 1970's, they are the same neighborhoods being gentrified today and where people cannot afford to pay their rent or people are being evicted, peoplee are beieing harassed by landlords and are being forced to move out. amy: we will do part two on this discussion after the show and post it online at vivian vazquez irizarry and gretchen hildebran, codirectors of "decade of fire."
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that does it for our show. democracy now! is currently accepting applications for paid 6-month internships here in our new york city studio. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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